Some things just go together–peanut butter and jelly, burger and fries, Bert and Ernie, and puzzle games and mobile devices. Puzzle is one of the most prominent game categories that translates perfectly to touchscreen devices. For instance, the touchscreen interface mimics the tactility of a jigsaw puzzle and the physics of a block puzzle.
If the Puzzle category in the Chartboost Network was a jigsaw puzzle, it would be marked at expert level. The Puzzle category is highly competitive and takes an outstanding creative to stand out from the pack, but that’s what we’re here for. In this month’s Top Creatives series, we connected all the pieces, stacked all the blocks and popped all the bubbles, to find the common best practices among the top performing creatives in the Puzzle category with superb impression-to-install conversion.
Finger on the Screen
We recently sat down with Amy Dallas, a Chartboost University (CBU) spring 2014 alum and the co-founder and producer of ClutchPlay Games. Amy and her studio just released their second game Skullduggery! on iOS yesterday, which was also selected as this week’s Editors’ Choice on the Apple App Store.
Howdy, Amy! Thanks for taking the time to sit down with us. Could you give the Chartboost community a little refresher about ClutchPlay Games?
Amy Dallas: ClutchPlay Games is a small, scrappy indie studio in Portland, Oregon. The four of us initially worked together for several years at the Portland, Oregon satellite office of a large mobile game company based in San Francisco. In early 2012, we walked into our office one day to learn that we had been downsized out of existence.
While it wasn’t a great time for any of us, we all realized that this was one of those “now or never moments.” We had the right team at the right time and each of us had saved enough money to live without a paycheck for almost a year. So that’s what we did.
We launched our first game, Little Chomp, in October 2012. Now we just launched our second game Skullduggery! on iOS yesterday.
The leaves may be falling, but average CPIs on all three platforms on the Chartboost Network in September are rising. The average CPIs for iOS were up 7.1%, up 9.2% for Google Play and up 19% for Amazon.
Come out and play with Boosters at events across the world this month. We’re spreading the love in San Francisco, Amsterdam, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, Belarus and more.
Chartboost Connect Amsterdam
First, we’re hosting Chartboost Connect in our own (European) backyard. We’re bringing together the mobile gaming community at our Amsterdam office to connect, educate and inspire. Since it’s October, we’re transforming the office into a biergarten–equipped with beer steins aplenty.
We’ll jump-start the night with marketing expert Stephanie van Geel giving the lowdown on best practices for submitting your game to the app store. Right after that, M2H co-founders Matt and Mike Hergaarden will tag team a can’t-miss fireside chat. Still interested? Then RSVP here.
A group of passionate Boosters volunteered yesterday at San Francisco’s GLIDE, a comprehensive provider of innovative programs and services for the poor and marginalized. We sat down with Chartboost Volunteer Club lead Remi Spector to chat about Chartboost’s initiative to become more involved with the local community, and her personal experience.
What does the Chartboost Volunteer Club do, and how do you choose what organizations to volunteer for?
Remi Spector: The Volunteer Club dedicates three or four hours a month to supporting nonprofit organizations that are important to members of the Chartboost team. I asked members to submit organizations they already work with or donate to as a first step in deciding who to volunteer with. It’s also important to me that we support organizations right in our neighborhood. Since moving to our new San Francisco office on the border of Union Square and the Tenderloin, we’ve discovered a new community that’s really different from SoMa. This neighborhood has a lot of individuals who need extra support, and fortunately, there are a lot of community resources who can use our help. Most recently we’ve volunteered with GLIDE–a resource center just around the corner from us.
One theme was made apparent after the conclusion of the Tokyo Game Show—mobile gaming continued to flex its muscles as the dominant platform for games in Japan. In total, TGS exhibitors showed off 310 traditional console and handheld games, but a whopping 505 iOS and Android games. Now here at Chartboost, we’ve seen firsthand the swift growth of Japan on our revenue platform.
Back in February 2014, we joined forces with Distimo (acquired by App Annie earlier this year) for a partnered report. In an analysis of average revenue per download (ARPD) among apps in the Games category vs. average CPI in the Chartboost Game Network, by country, Japan displayed the strongest revenue potential globally. Japan owned the highest ARPD worldwide, which was also coupled with an average CPI that was less than a third of the ARPD. The analysis told us two things—the strong profitability and revenue potential for mobile games in Japan.
It goes without saying that Japan is on the short list of countries that developers want to target in the Chartboost Game Network. So for this month’s Top Creatives report, we placed a spotlight on Japan. From our analysis of the top performing creatives in Japan in August 2014, we identified three common themes–localization, creatives for Japanese games performing well locally, and creatives for Western games making an impact internationally.
Localize Creatives for Maximum Effectiveness
Localizing your creatives can pay dividends.
Apple’s latest mobile operating system iOS 8 fell from the tree on September 17, landing in the hands of iOS users worldwide. To get a sense of which countries adopted iOS 8 the most, we collected iOS 8 adoption data from global traffic in the Chartboost Game Network from September 17 to 18. We then identified the top 10 countries that experienced the highest iOS 8 adoption rate (below), with the US, South Korea and Russia leading the way.
In its first 24 hours of release, iOS 8 was adopted the most by iOS gamers in the US. It’s not surprising that the US claimed the top spot, but the trend does emphasize the importance of making sure your game is iOS 8 compatible as soon as possible in one of the most lucrative mobile gaming markets.
Chartboost’s co-founders Maria Alegre (CEO) and Sean Fannan (CTO) were selected as the most recent inductees for Pocket Gamer’s Hall of Fame. It’s flattering to be named into such an amazing lineup of game industry thought leaders such as Pocket Gems’ Ben Liu, Kabam’s Kevin Chou and NimbleBit’s David and Ian Marsh–we consider this a great acknowledgement.
We couldn’t accept this recognition without acknowledging and thanking you, our partners. We simply just wouldn’t have been able to build one of the best communities of game developers without you.
Maria and Sean may have been inducted into the Hall of Fame, but by no means are we going to rest on our laurels. We’re on a mission to continue improving on the largest revenue platform for mobile games. With the recent release of Chartboost Video, the only video made exclusively for game developers, we’re determined to empower game developers around the world to reach their full potential.
Mech Mocha Game Studios is an independent game development studio based in India. Founded by Mohit Rangaraju (Chief Mech) and Arpita Kapoor (Chief Mocha), Mech Mocha was part of iAccelerator 2013 batch and operates from an awesome co-working space at CIIE, IIM A. They are also proud alums of Chartboost University. Mech Mocha believes in teaming up with talented and passionate programmers, artists, animators and musicians to create high-end quality games that would leave a feeling of satisfaction in every players’ mind. They’re currently working on their first iOS title Puppet Punch.
As I write this, Mech Mocha is submitting Puppet Punch to the App Store. It’s a long-awaited day for our team and we’re ecstatic about it. Since this project began, we went through numerous changes and iterations. Nearly six months ago, we thought we were ready for release, but then we were selected to attend Chartboost University (CBU) — it was an opportunity we couldn’t pass up.
CBU is a two-week-long mentorship program for mobile game startups where industry experts from different specialties such as design, production, technology, audio, and monetization dig into your product and provide feedback. As a bonus, the IGDA gave us passes to attend GDC 2014.
Our time at CBU helped us improve our game immensely. The combined feedback from mentors and fellow developers at CBU, GDC attendees, and press at Pocket Gamer Big Indie Pitch was amazing. While the base gameplay and design of Puppet Punch wasn’t changed after CBU, there’ve been significant changes to the game’s backend, progression, core loop and monetization.
Before we count down the last few days of summer, we looked back on August CPI data. Last year we saw a decrease in CPIs from July 2013 to August 2013, but that wasn’t the case this year. Despite students going back to school, it seems like advertisers didn’t think user LTVs would go down too much to warrant lowering their advertising bids. Average bids on iOS were up 13.8%, down -0.8% on Google Play, and up 1.5% on Amazon.